Oh no, it happened again – you walk out to your car where it’s parked on the street, in a parking lot, or in somebody’s driveway – and you turn the key. You expect to hear the engine hum to life. Maybe that’s what happened the last 200 or 300 times that you turned the key. But this time, your car doesn’t start.
In this case, you’re lucky if you at least hear the vehicle trying to turn over. What you’ll more likely hear is what one of our old great novelists called the “skeletal dry click” of nothing happening.
What happened? There are a number of reasons why a car might not start. A significant number of these are based on the battery.
It’s not just a case of whether or not the battery has juice in it. It’s a little more complicated than that.
Not Enough Cold Cranking Amps
If your battery’s not starting, it might be because it’s too cold. It takes a battery more power to start in colder weather. That’s why technicians have what they call ‘cold cranking amps’ and when they start critiquing the state of your car battery, they may be saying that you don’t have enough power to get your car started in wintry conditions. That’s a bummer. It usually means you need a replacement.
A Drained Battery
This is one of the usual suspects when it comes to a car’s failure to start. You check the dome lights, the radio, or other little sources of energy drain. You check to see if you left the key in the ignition.
Newer vehicles have some better features that help to avoid these kinds of problems, but in many cases, if your battery is dead, it’s because you left something on and drained the battery while the vehicle sat idle.
If you haven’t drained the battery, have you checked the positive and negative terminals?
Battery connections don’t even have to be visibly bad to prevent the car from starting. Any looseness or compromise of those terminal connections can mean you just get the dead click when you turn the key.
Old Batteries and Bad Batteries
Another possibility is that your ‘failure to go’ is mainly related to how long you’ve been using a particular car battery. Experts recommend replacing car batteries every few years, because they start to lose their charging capability and ability to hold a charge. Also, you might have gotten a lemon when a dishonest dealer sold you an old battery masquerading as a new one. It happens.
Sitting for Too Long
Maybe your vehicle started just fine when you turned the key in 2006, but when you turned the key again in (late) 2007 you got nothing. Even a fully charged battery will eventually lose its charge if the vehicle isn’t driven over time.
Take a look at all of these types of situations if you can’t start your car, and let Autotech Mobile Mechanic install a new battery for you. We know all the tricks of the trade and have the resources to offer you battery power that will keep you on the road when travel is important to you.
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